Atlanta Braves: Jair Jurrjens Gets It Done in Complete Game

Abigail MiskowiecContributor IApril 27, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21:  Jair Jurrjens #49 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Sandwiched between aces like Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe and rookies like Brandon Beachy, Jair Jurrjens may go unnoticed. He’s a quiet pitcher with a fluid motion. In fact, averaging just under 15 pitches per inning, it’s like he’s not on the field at all.

His 2-0 record in three starts pales in comparison to the incredible start by Jered Weaver this season.

But coming off of a strained right oblique suffered in spring training, Jurrjens has been the most consistent Braves starter since returning against the Mets on April 16.

Jurrjens did not have his best game of the season. He might have actually had his worst. He scattered nine hits, the most of the season. Those hits included two doubles by Ryan Ludwick, another to Brad Hawpe in the ninth and a triple for a slumping Orlando Hudson.

However, the most impressive number Jurrjens put up on the night was 114 pitches. That’s all it took for Jurrjens to record his first career complete game. And only 33 of those were balls. Jurrjens has never thrown a shutout, but with a minuscule 1.23 ERA, that could be happening sometime this season.

The balls that weren't torched to the outfield wall were often dribblers back to the mound or easy outs to middle infielders. The Braves defense turned two double plays early on, breaking the Padres' spirits that much more.

It didn’t hurt that the Braves oft-struggling offense exploded for eight runs. Backup catcher David Ross logged his 10th two-homer game of his nine-year career and Chipper Jones moved into second place in RBI among switch-hitters behind Mickey Mantle.

If the Braves can keep up this play and get more starts like this out of Jurrjens and Co., they could be moving up in the standings very soon.